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How to Help Prevent Heart Disease – At Any Age

Whether you’re a boomer, a Gen X/Y/Zer or a Millennial, you’ve only got one heart. No matter your age, right now is the perfect time to make the lifestyle choices that can keep your heart as strong and healthy as possible.

According to the American Heart Association, more of us than ever – about 92.1 million Americans – suffer from cardiovascular disease. While that may sound like a daunting statistic, the condition is preventable and reversible. You can start positive new habits, or change harmful old ones, at any age. Treating your heart right today can help ensure a healthier tomorrow.

Infographic: How to keep your heart healthy

30s: Eighty-two percent of people, ranging in age from 20-49, rate “poor” on the American Heart Association’s healthy diet score. The association advises more people to eat a heart-healthy diet high in produce, whole grains and low-fat dairy and low in sodium, sugar and red meat.

40s: A 2015 study found that 73 percent of heart attacks in women, aged 35-44, can be attributed to unhealthy lifestyles. The six healthy habits recommended were not smoking, maintaining a normal BMI, being physically active at least 2.5 hours per week, watching 7 or fewer hours of TV a week, drinking a maximum of one alcoholic drink per day on average, and a maintaining a diet in the top 40 percent of a measure of diet quality based on the Harvard School of Public Health healthy eating plate.

50s: Men in their upper 50s are 2.7 times more likely to die from a disease of the circulatory system than men in their upper 40s, according to 2016 CDC statistics. Now is the time to research heart attack symptoms. Not everyone experiences severe chest pain with a heart attack, and symptoms vary by gender.

60s: About 64 percent of men and 69 percent of women aged 65-75 have high blood pressure. Get your blood pressure checked at a doctor’s visit and then regularly monitor it at home to detect patterns and note any changes.

Cardiovascular disease is responsible for roughly one in every three deaths. Making simple lifestyle changes now – no matter what age you are – may help you avoid cardiovascular disease and feel better every day, long into the future.